31 de octubre de 2009

Obama 79

US Drone Strike Kills 13 in Pakistan

A missile strike by a US drone killed at least 13 people in a Pakistani tribal district bordering Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said.
The strike took place on a village 15 kilometers north of Khar, the main town of the restive Bajaur tribal district.

"I can confirm that 13 people were killed in the drone attack," a tribal administration official said.

30 de octubre de 2009

Obama 78

Obama signs bills for record Pentagon, Homeland Security spending

President Obama signed legislation Wednesday authorizing $680 billion for the Pentagon, the largest military budget ever. On Thursday, he signed a bill giving another $44 billion to the Department of Homeland Security, to strengthen state repression within the US.

Obama 77

115 arrested so far in 18 cities to demand for health care for all
115 arrested so far in 18 cities to demand for health care for all
Total number who risked arrest today: 73 in 10 cities
Arrests include Matt Hendrickson, MD, a California doctor who is calling for real health care reform
Margaret Flowers, MD, will be risking arrest tomorrow at CareFirst insurance in Baltimore, Maryland

27 de octubre de 2009

Obama 76

The Cover-Up Continues

The Obama administration has clung for so long to the Bush administration’s expansive claims of national security and executive power that it is in danger of turning President George W. Bush’s cover-up of abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism into President Barack Obama’s cover-up.

We have had recent reminders of this dismaying retreat from Mr. Obama’s passionate campaign promises to make a break with Mr. Bush’s abuses of power, a shift that denies justice to the victims of wayward government policies and shields officials from accountability.

24 de octubre de 2009

Musicians Protest Use of Recordings in Gitmo Torture

A coalition of popular recording artists is calling on the military to disclose whether their songs have been used as part of the torture and harsh interrogation of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Bands including R.E.M. and Pearl Jam have endorsed Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the National Security Archives asking the Pentagon to disclose which artists’ music has been used.

Obama 75

US, Israel Stage Joint Air Drill

The US, meanwhile, has launched a joint air force drill with the Israeli military. The drill has been described in Israel as a preparation for an attack on Iran. US Navy Rear Admiral John Richardson said the exercises would aid the Obama administration’s revamped missile defense program.

US Navy Rear Admiral John Richardson: “This exercise is not directly related to recent announcements about ballistic missile defense in Europe, but the lessons and the insights that we gain from this exercise will certainly relate to developing that capability.”

Obama 74

Goldstone Challenges Obama to Explain Gaza Inquiry Objections

As the US challenges Sri Lanka, the head of a UN inquiry into the US-backed assault on Gaza is challenging the Obama administration to explain why it’s worked to minimize the inquiry’s findings that Israel committed multiple war crimes. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Judge Richard Goldstone said the White House had raised “concerns” about the report but hasn’t explained them.

Judge Richard Goldstone: “It seems to be still developing. It’s been ambivalent, I think. The Obama administration joined our recommendation calling for full, good-faith investigations, both in Israel and in Gaza, but said that the report was flawed. But I have yet to hear from the Obama administration what the flaws in the report that they’ve identified are. I mean, I’d be happy to respond to them, if and when I know what they are.”

Last week the US voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution endorsing the report’s recommendations that both sides of the Gaza conflict probe war crimes allegations or face international prosecution. The resolution has been forwarded to the Security Council, where it’s expected to face a US veto.

13 de octubre de 2009

As Talks Continue, Honduran Coup Regime Extends Media Crackdown

In Honduras, the coup regime has enacted a decree allowing it to close media outlets rather than revoking the measure as it had promised last week. Coup leaders have already shut down the opposition media outlets Channel 36 and Radio Globo. The measure threatens broadcasters with closure for airing reports that “attack national security.” On Saturday, police fired tear gas at hundreds of people rallying in support of the ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Protester: “Here in Honduras, we will no longer put up with them beating us, with deaths and everything. We won’t put up with it anymore! We want these coup mongers out, for these soldiers not to beat us as if they didn’t also have mothers.”

The protests were held as Zelaya representatives continued to hold talks with the coup regime. Juan Barahona, a member of Zelaya’s delegation, said the negotiations had progressed, but not on the fundamental issue of Zelaya’s return.

Juan Barahona: “There has been some progress in the negotiations, in the discussion over an agreement. But I repeat, if there is no agreement in the main point—that is, Zelaya’s return—and when we get to that point, there is no progress, we go backwards again, until we’re back at nothing.”

UN Panel Warns of Growing Mercenary Presence in Honduras

An independent UN panel is raising alarm over the use of foreign mercenaries since Zelaya’s ouster. The UN says it’s received reports the coup regime has hired more than 120 mercenaries from across Latin America. An estimated forty former Colombian paramilitaries have also been hired to guard wealthy Hondurans and their properties.

7 de octubre de 2009

Obama 73

Obama Admin Expands Nuclear Weapons Production

As the US pressures Iran, the news agency Inter Press Service reports the US is going ahead with a Bush administration program increasing nuclear weapons production. The “Complex Modernization” initiative would expand two existing nuclear sites to produce new bomb parts. The administration is proposing to build new plutonium pits at the Los Alamos lab in New Mexico and expand enriched uranium processing at the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

6 de octubre de 2009

Taliban Claims Responsibility for World Food Program Bombing

Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for Monday’s deadly suicide bombing in Islamabad that killed five workers of the World Food Program. The Taliban said it carried out the bombing to avenge the August 5 slaying of their leader, Baitullah Mehsud, in a US drone attack.

Obama 72

White House: No Plans to Withdraw from Afghanistan

The White House said Monday President Obama has no plans to walk away from the war in Afghanistan, which began eight years ago this week. Obama is expected to decide soon whether to send tens of thousands of more troops as requested by US commander General Stanley McChrystal.